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Del Toro set for Stine pic

Guillermo Del Toro, the young Mexican helmer behind the Spanish-language thriller “Cronos,” has inked a deal to direct the adaptation of R.L. Stine’s novel “Superstitious” for Dimension Films.

Story is set in a small New England college town and tells of a young graduate student who falls in love with a hip, Irish folklore professor despite his odd, superstitious behavior. She soon discovers that there is method to his superstitions, and that he might be involved in a series of grisly murders.

The Guadalajara-based helmer is attached only to direct the pic.

Published by Warner Books in 1995, “Superstitious” marked the adult fiction debut for Stine, who previously gained notoriety as the prolific and successful children’s book author behind the “Goosebumps” and “Fear Street” series.

Dimension also will release Del Toro’s sci-fi thriller “Mimic” — the filmmaker’s first English-language film following his critically lauded debut with “Cronos” — later this summer.

“Cronos” copped nine of Mexico’s prestigious Ariel awards in 1993, including best picture, director and original screenplay, and also nabbed the Intl. Critics’ Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Mimic” is about two young scientists who have teamed up to save Gotham from an epidemic that has killed thousands of children. But their miracle of genetic engineering has come back to haunt them, altering the balance of nature and tipping the scales against them.

Pic stars Academy Award-winner Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam (“Emma”), Josh Brolin (“Flirting With Disaster”), Charles Dutton (“Cry the Beloved Country”) and Giancarlo Giannini (“A Walk in the Clouds”).

Displaying its confidence in the project, Dimension currently has “Mimic” scheduled for release July 18, in the heat of the summer event battles.

“With ‘Mimic,’ Guillermo has created a terrific roller-coaster ride that will thrill movie fans,” said Miramax/Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein. “We are so pleased to have Guillermo on board for another Dimension project.”

Additionally, Del Toro is attached to direct “Mephisto’s Bridge” — based on Christopher Fowler’s dark novel “Spanky,” originally optioned by Universal in 1994 — for Phoenix Pictures, and an untitled horror project for 20th Century Fox.

The helmer is repped by David Gersh of the Gersh Agency.

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